‘A remarkably honest memoir of a life spent pulling people back from death’ – Adam Kay
In these stories, Dr Jim Down brings us to the very heart of the intensive care unit – the section of the hospital where the sickest patients are brought to be cared for until their condition improves. With honesty, humility and a streak of dark humour, Dr Down describes the quietly heroic work of doctors and nurses on the ICU, a place which sits at the cutting edge of medical technology and where a split-second decision can make the difference between life and death.
From headline-grabbing cases like that of Alexander Litvinenko, poisoned by Russian agents and admitted to Down’s ward, to the appalling aftermath of a train crash, Life in the Balance offers an inside glimpse of intensive care medicine, its immense challenges, deleterious effects on doctors’ mental health and enormous rewards. Its profundity will make you reconsider the fragility of life and reframe your understanding of what it means to care.
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